21 October 2008
UK recession causing concern for NZ tourism
British travellers are traditionally the second largest group of tourists in New Zealand, after Australians, however Tourism New Zealand are expressing concerns that these numbers will continue to drop in response to the economic situation in the UK, reports Stuff.co.nz.
Last month, Tourism New Zealand launched a unique $8 million campaign aimed at the UK market, which involved the real experiences and interviews of British travellers in New Zealand. The hope was that it would entice a sense of action within the British community to "holiday now".
In response to the UK recession fears, the numbers of British travellers in New Zealand has dropped over the past three months by 3 per cent, and August numbers were almost 10 per cent lower than the same month last year.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said British are still holidaying but are choosing short-haul destinations, rather than their preferred long-haul destinations such as New Zealand and Australia.
This year, New Zealand won several awards, including the top country for tourism in the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Awards 2008 in the UK, and again in America, due to its glorious scenery, high level of safety and value for money.
Mr Hickton said there is clearly still a strong interest in New Zealand for British residents, despite the economic condition, but that it would more likely be older British tourists on a Visitor's Permit rather than younger travellers on a New Zealand working holiday visa that will be able to afford travel to New Zealand over the next few months.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.
Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.